8BitDo controllers have been synonymous with quality and performance for a long time, offering a retro-inspired design combined with modern features. Today, we’ll compare two high-quality controllers from the 8BitDo range, the Pro 2 and the Ultimate Bluetooth. Both have their unique features and specifications, so let’s dive in to see which one might be the perfect fit for your gaming needs.
8BitDo Pro 2 is a SNES inspired controller with a very similar feel to Dual Shock 4 when holding it as it has the same position for analogue sticks as Playstation controller.
On the other hand, 8BitDo Ultimate Bluetooth is similar to Xbox controllers in shape and it’s biggest feature is having Hall Effect Joysticks, which don’t develop stick drift over time and are more durable than standard ALPS Joysticks.
Important: 8BitDo also has two very similar and cheaper controllers which don’t come with Hall Effect Joysticks:
- 8BitDo Ultimate 2.4 G Wireless Controller
- 8BitDo Ultimate Wired Controller
Alright, let’s get into comparing 8BitDo Pro 2 and 8BitDo Ultimate Bluetooth.
Both the Pro 2 and Ultimate BT boast a robust range of compatibility options, supporting a plethora of platforms. These include Switch 3.0.0 and above, SteamOS Holo 3.4 and above, and Windows 10 and above. Having such a broad compatibility range allows for a flexible gaming experience across multiple platforms, a significant advantage for gamers who enjoy diversity in their gaming sessions.
The Pro 2 and Ultimate both offer the Switch and X-input modes, ensuring a smooth gaming experience across platforms, especially beneficial for Nintendo Switch players and gamers who prefer to play on PC. The versatile controller modes offer flexibility, allowing users to switch their gaming platforms seamlessly.
When it comes to special features, both controllers have impressive offerings. They are equipped with two Pro back paddle buttons, a custom profile switch button, allowing users to switch between three different profiles on the fly, and a mode switch button. The Ultimate Software is accessible on both PC and mobile (Android/iOS) for both controllers.
8BitDo Ultimate BT also comes with a handy charging dock.
- Compatible with Switch and Steam Deck via Bluetooth/2.4g adapter/USB Cable, Windows with a 2.4g adapter/USB Cable.
- Ultimate Bluetooth Controller is compatible with Steam Deck now
- Multifunctional Charging Dock – Stable connection and controller will be automatically switching ON/OFF while it is undocked/docked.
- Hall Effect Sensing Joystick
|8BitDo Pro 2
|8BitDo Ultimate Bluetooth
|Switch 3.0.0 and above, SteamOS Holo 3.4 and above, Windows 10 and above, Android 9.0 and above, Raspberry Pi, Apple iOS 16.3 and above, Apple iPadOS 16.3 and above, Apple tvOS 16.3 and above, Apple macOS 13.2 and above
|Switch 3.0.0 and above, SteamOS Holo 3.4 and above, Windows 10 and above
|Switch mode, X-input, Mac mode, D-input
|Switch mode, X-input mode
|2 Pro back paddle buttons, Custom Profile switch button, 3 profiles, switch on the fly, Mode switch button (Switch, Android, D-input, X-input), Ultimate Software on PC and mobile (android/ios), Enhanced grip, Motion control (for Switch only)
|2 Pro back paddle buttons, Custom Profile switch button, 3 profiles, switch on the fly, Mode switch button (Bluetooth®, 2.4g), Ultimate Software on PC and mobile (Android/iOS), Motion control (for Switch only), Vibration, Charging dock, Player indicators
|Wireless Bluetooth®4.0, USB-C
|Bluetooth®5.0, 2.4g connectivity, USB-C
|Battery Type/Battery Life
|1000mAh Li-on battery, rechargeable, 20 play hours with 4 hour charging time
|1000mAh Li-on battery, rechargeable, 22 play hours with 2-3 hours charging time
Unique to the Ultimate controller is the inclusion of player indicators, a handy feature to keep track of multiple players during multiplayer gaming sessions. Also, both controllers offer motion controls, but these are only available in Switch mode.
What’s notable is the vibration feature present in both controllers, enhancing the immersive gaming experience. The Ultimate also comes with a convenient charging dock, adding a layer of practicality and ease of use.
The Pro 2 offers Bluetooth 4.0 and the Ultimate has Bluetooth 5.0, wireless 2.4g connectivity, and USB-C options. The inclusion of both Bluetooth and 2.4g connectivity in both controllers ensures stable and fast connections, vital for intense gaming sessions where every second count.
Both controllers are fitted with a 1000mAh Li-on rechargeable battery. The Pro 2 provides up to 20 hours of playtime with a charging time of around 4 hours. On the other hand, the Ultimate outshines slightly with up to 22 hours of playtime and a faster charging time of 2-3 hours.
8Bitdo Ultimate Bluetooth vs Ultimate 2.4g
Also, there’s a pretty similiar alternative to 8bitdo Ultimate Bluetooth, which is Ultimate 2.4g controller. It’s a great option for Mac users who like Xbox style controller, but it doesn’t have hall effect joysticks, doesn’t have Bluetooth and has worse battery life than 8bitdo Ultimate Bluetooth.
|8Bitdo Ultimate Bluetooth
|8Bitdo Ultimate 2.4g
|Bluetooth/2.4g adapter/USB Cable for Switch & Steam Deck; 2.4g adapter/USB Cable for Windows
|Switch, PC Windows 10 and Steam Deck
|iPhone, iPad, macOS and Apple TV, PC Windows 10, Android and Steam Deck
|Software is available for Windows 10 and Android/iOS
|Software is available for Windows 10
|2 Pro back paddle buttons, Custom Profile switch button, Motion control(for Switch only), Rumble Vibration, Player indicators
|2 Pro back paddle buttons, Custom Profile switch button, Rumble Vibration
|Mode switch button
|22 play hours
|15 play hours
Both the 8BitDo Pro 2 and Ultimate are well-crafted controllers with an impressive array of features and wide compatibility. While they share many similarities, their unique features cater to different gamer needs. The Ultimate with its player indicators and charging dock might be the go-to choice for multiplayer gaming enthusiasts. In contrast, the Pro 2 could be the better option for those preferring a slightly longer battery life.
A crucial distinction between these two is that Ultimate Bluetooth comes with Hall Effect Joysticks, which are far superior than standard ALPS joysticks, offering no stick drift and better durability in the long run.
Personally, I prefer Ultimate Bluetooth, because of a better feel as I’m used to Xbox shaped controllers. Hall Effects sticks are obviously a great addition and so it a charging dock. Is it worth that $20 extra? I think so. But if you prefer more of a SNES/Playstation (it does feel like a DualShock 4 in hands with the same position for analogue sticks) style controller for Switch and you don’t mind ALPS joysticks then 8bitdo Pro 2 is a great alternative for a standard Switch controller